Top prospect Kolek's TJ surgery goes smoothly

Marlins expect righty back on mound in 12-18 months

Top prospect Kolek's TJ surgery goes smoothly

WASHINGTON -- There were no issues or complications in Tyler Kolek's Tommy John surgery, and the Marlins anticipate having their top prospect back on the mound in 12 to 18 months.

Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill on Thursday confirmed Kolek had surgery to repair a torn right elbow ligament Wednesday in New York by Dr. David Altchek.

"It was a complete tear of the ligament," Hill said before the Marlins faced the Nationals. "They said there were no issues, that surgery went well, and now he's on the road to recovery."

Kolek, 20, is the organization's top prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.

The second overall pick in the 2014 Draft, Kolek experienced discomfort during a game late in Minor League Spring Training.

Before his injury, the plan was for Kolek to open the season at Class A Greensboro, and eventually move up to Class A Jupiter in the Florida State League. Now, he will spend the season recovering from major surgery.

"You can never pinpoint with those kinds of injuries," Hill said. "Everything had been going very well for him. He'd been throwing well in camp. It's unfortunate, but we've seen that it's a surgery where players come back from, even better than before. We're looking forward to getting him back healthy and on the road to recovery."

Because of his age, and he's still a developing prospect, the Marlins have plenty of time to get the hard-throwing right-hander back into action at some point in 2017.

"I don't know if there is ever a silver lining when you lose time to surgery," Hill said. "This is still a young player who was making great strides in his development towards getting to the big leagues."

In 25 starts at Greensboro last year, Kolek had a 4.56 ERA.

"He hasn't lost Major League service time or the ability to help us win Major League games," Hill said. "From that standpoint, I guess, you can say there is a silver lining."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.